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Release of slasher film ‘Winnie the Pooh’ canceled in Hong Kong amid censorship concerns


Moviegoers in Hong Kong and neighboring Macau will not have the chance to see “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” in theaters as distributor VII Pillars Entertainment has announced that the film’s release has been cancelled.

“We are very sorry to announce that the scheduled release of ‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey’ in Hong Kong and Macau on March 23 has been cancelled,” the company said. wrote on Facebook Tuesday. “We are sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience.”

VII Pillars Entertainment said The Associated Press that theater chains informed the company that they could not show the film in theaters, and the distributor said it did not know the reason for the cancellation.

However, as AP reports, “Winnie the Pooh” has become a mocking reference to China’s President Xi Jinping, with Chinese censors even banning searches for the animated character on social media for a period of time. Also, in 2018, China blocked the release of “Christopher Robin,” a live-action movie starring the bear.

The decision not to release “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” in Hong Kong and Macau comes after Hong Kong authorities decided in 2021 to ban screenings of films believed to violate a national security law, AP reports. .

One source speculated that the hollywood reporter that “political pressure” caused “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” to be pulled from theaters, with speculation that China’s Pooh crackdown has reached Hong Kong.

A picture of the movie. "Winnie the Pooh: blood and honey."

Kenny Ng, a professor at Hong Kong Baptist University’s film academy, suggested to the AP that business decisions have become a way for the government to silence critics, adding that in the past two they have been mainly non-commercial films that have been censored. years.

Written and directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” stars Craig David Dowsett and Chris Cordell as Pooh and Piglet as they terrorize Christopher Robin and other college students after Christopher abandons them in the Woods. the Hundred Acres. The film has so far earned $4.1 million at the worldwide box office and has a score of 4% on the Tomatometer on rotten tomatoes.

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